The Rosselkhoznadzor held negotiations with the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC ) via videoconference on May 20. The meeting was also attended by the representatives of the Russian Embassy in China, the Trade Mission of the Russian Federation in China, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation and the FGBI "National Center for Aquatic and Aquaculture Product Safety" (FGBI "NCBRP").
During the negotiations the Rosselkhoznadzor informed of detecting a fishery product consignment (fresh-frozen whitefish) supplied from China to Russia with the labeling containing false information. According to the information on the consignment's packaging, the fish was caught in the Pacific Ocean, which is virtually impossible, since whitefish is freshwater fish. In this regard, the Russian party expects to receive data on the actual place of origin of raw materials, as well as an explanation of the reasons for the identified incompliance from the Chinese colleagues.
The Service also reminded that it had previously recorded Chinese consignments of salmonids which were allegedly produced in China but had Chilean identification labels. The Rosselkhoznadzor had previously reported on that fact during negotiations with the GACC held in April. The Russian Authority is still expecting information from its Chinese colleagues explaining the reasons for the incompliance.
During the video conference the issue of fish and aquatic product supplies from the Russian Federation to the People's Republic of China was raised. The Russian party once again reported that it ensures compliance with all Chinese requirements for import of regulated goods. The crew and staff members of fishing vessels and fishery establishments are tested for COVID-19. Employees who do not go to sea, but carry out activities on land, in particular, product loading, are also tested. The thermometry is daily carried out. In addition, the Russian Federation is conducting a broad vaccination campaign in all regions of the country, including vaccination of staff of fish processing establishments. According to the recommendations, the crew members shall be isolated in the observation facility for two weeks before going to sea. The packaging of products exported to China and the containers in which they are transported shall be disinfected. All these measures are taken to protect goods supplied to China from coronavirus infection.
The Chinese party noted that for coastal establishments the following frequency of COVID-19 testing is recommended for staff: once every two weeks in case of absence of infection and at least once a week in case infected personnel are indentified.
The Rosselkhoznadzor stressed that despite its repeated requests for detailed information on all facts of SARS-CoV-2 detection on the packaging of products imported from Russia, the Chinese side has not yet provided it. In particular, the GACC did not send test reports confirming the detection of the disease pathogen. Also, a detailed description of testing and sampling methods was not provided. The Chinese colleagues explained that full information can be provided to the Rosselkhoznadzor by the Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China.
The Russian side said that at the beginning of the current year it had sent to the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China a list of Russian fish processing establishments banned for supplying goods to China due to detection of SARS-CoV-2 on the packaging thereof. Restrictions on a number of establishments had been introduced more than six months before and, as the Rosselkhoznadzor assured, they had taken all necessary measures to prevent incompliances in future. The Chinese colleagues did not respond to this letter, in this connection, the Russian Authority asked to accelerate its consideration and make a decision on the possibility of lifting the ban.
Continuing the topic of fishery product export from Russia, the parties discussed transit of these goods from the Russian Federation through the Republic of Korea to the PRC. The Russian authority had earlier explained at the previous negotiations with the GACC that such shipments also comply with the Chinese requirements. There is always a Rosselkhoznadzor representative in the Republic of Korea to control the supplies. The Service had earlier sent detailed information on the surveillance procedure for Russian consignments going through the Republic of Korea to China. Representatives of the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China informed that in order to assess the effectiveness of this control, they initiated a meeting with the Korean competent authority, where they plan to find out whether all the requirements of the Chinese side are actually met during transit.
The Rosselkhoznadzor inquired about the progress of the Chinese colleagues considering the draft Protocol between the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance and the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China regarding inspection and quarantine requirements, as well as veterinary and sanitary requirements for aquatic products exported from Russia to China. The GACC reported that they will send a new version of the document in the near future.
Besides, during the negotiations it was said that the Chinese party had forwarded to the Russian Service a draft of the new model of the certificate for fish products exported from Russia. The Rosselkhoznadzor confirmed the receipt of the document and informed that the document is being analysed at the moment.
The topic of the possibility of developing guidelines for inspection of Russian fish processing establishments and vessels by Chinese colleagues was also raised. It was decided to continue discussing this issue in the future.